By Thomas Garcia Quay County Sun
Tucumcariï¿½s own Dora Maes makes a lot of holiday gatherings sweet.
She bakes all kinds of goodies including sugar cookies, cakes, pies and a local favorite ï¿½ï¿½biscocitos. Biscocitos are sometimes known as the Rio Grande Biscuits or wedding cookies.
Maes has grown her business, Maes Special Occasions, from homebaked sweets to her own bakery. And in some circles, it’s known from coast to coast.
Moreover, a lot of her cookies end up in Iraq, Maes said. Family members like to send their military sons or daughters a homemade treat, she said.
We visited with Maes Tuesday to see whatï¿½s baking for the holiday season.
Question: On average, how many cookies do you bake a day?
Answer: On non-holidays, I usually bake 20 dozen cookies. Now, that the holidays are here It seems like I am baking 100 dozen a day.
What are the best sellers during the holidays?
Our top sellers have been sugar cookies and biscocitos. Last week, I sent 20 dozen biscocitos to Santa Fe and a few days later I sent 24 dozen that were half sugar cookies and half biscocitos to Santa Fe as well. It seems like I bake non-stop. There are days that I bake from before sun up to after sun down.
How did your business start?
It was about 25 years ago. I began baking birthday, wedding cakes and cookies for family and friends. As the demand grew for my cookies and cakes I asked my husband (Augustin) to build me a kitchen in the shop. We have been open for seven years and offered baked goods for the past five years.
Who are your customers?
I get orders from people here in Tucumcari, from neighboring towns and some from as far away as Florida. Someone was here and they ate my bisocitos. Then when someone from Tucumcari was going to visit, they said, ‘Don’t forget the biscocitos.’ They were going to a graduation, I think, and they took 25 dozen with them. I have other customers who call from California and Colorado. The biscocitos are a big hit.
Where do you get your recipes?
Most of them come from my mother, Adelina Moya. She used to have a grocery story over by the overpass. People ask me all the time, how I do this or that. And I just tell them that I do it the simplest way I can. They ask me about the icing on my sugar cookies and I tell them I just use milk and powdered sugar.
Do you have any future plans for your business?
I would like a larger kitchen to bake out of.
When it comes to your own family’s Christmas gathering, who does the cooking?
We have about 18 to 20 who come to dinner. I used to do all the cooking. Now, I just do the sweets. That’s my department. I’ve told them, I think I’ve done enough. Now, it’s time for everybody to pitch in.